Dear Visitors,

2017 promises to be an exciting year at the State Museum. Just a few days into the New Year we opened Ice Ages, a new long-term exhibition examining the landscape and animals of the Ice Ages in New York. The exhibition features fossils of Ice Age mammals that once roamed New York’s land and seas, including mammoths, caribou, mastodons, and whales.

This year is a key anniversary year to commemorate significant events in our state’s history. We will open three major history exhibitions this year:

  • Opening in April is a World War I exhibition, A Spirit of Sacrifice: New York in the First World War, to mark the centennial of New York State’s contribution to the United States commitment to “the war to end all wars”. 
  • In September, we will open Enterprising Waters: New York’s Erie Canal, an exhibition commemorating the bicentennial of the start of construction on the Erie Canal.
  • In November, we will open Votes for Women: Celebrating New York’s Suffrage Centennial. The exhibition will celebrate the centennial of women’s suffrage in New York State and raise awareness of the fight for women’s suffrage and equal rights.

In public programs news, we are launching a new program this year called Kids Curate February 24 – 26. Kids Curate will be the first exhibition at the museum curated by children across the state. In November, children voted for their favorite artifacts and specimens in the Museum’s collections to go on display at the first Kids Curate exhibition. The exhibition will feature the top seven objects with the most votes as well as interactive, family-friendly programming. Children and families can meet with State Museum curators and scientists to learn more about the museum’s vast collections, participate in educational hands-on activities, and enjoy performances by local musical and performing arts groups.

The popular Gem, Mineral and Fossil Show returns February 18 – 19 with more than 30 vendors selling gems, minerals, fossils, and jewelry. Canstruction returns to the fourth floor March 8 – 22 where visitors can see 16 giant structures made entirely out of canned goods. This popular program is great for the community as well as every can is donated to the Food Pantries for the Capital District. Also, we are continuing the popular Science Café program in downtown Albany where the public is invited to grab a drink and hear from a museum scientist or historian in an informal, conversational setting.

As always, Museum scientists and historians continue to conduct fascinating research. Check our “Research and Collections” page to learn more about what our scientists and historians have been working on. 

I’ll see you at the Museum.

Mark Schaming

Director, New York State Museum

Contact the Director's Office: Email museuminfo@nysed.gov or call 518-474-5812. 

Mark Schaming, Museum Director